“Now on the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be for you a time of holy convocation, and you shall afflict yourselves and present a food offering to the LORD. (Leviticus 23:27)
Yom Kippur (or Day of Atonement) is celebrated on the 10th of Tishri on the Hebrew calendar, which falls in the period between mid-September and mid-October on the Gregorian calendar. It is the most solemn and holiest day of the year and is not a feast as such, but rather a time of fasting and repentance.
What does atonement mean? The Hebrew word is kaphar. It literally means to cover. Think of a credit card, which doesn’t pay your bill, but covers you until you can pay the bill. So, the Day of Atonement covered the sins of Israel, but did not take them away. (Mark Biltz)
In traditional Judaism:
Yom Kippur marks the climax of the ten day period of repentance called the Days of Awe. According to Jewish tradition, on Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah) the destiny of the righteous are written in the Book of Life and the destiny of the wicked are written in the Book of Death. However, most people will not be inscribed in either book, but have ten days – until Yom Kippur – to repent before sealing their fate. Therefore, on Yom Kippur, every soul’s name will be sealed in one of the two books. (Hebrew for Christians)
When the Temple was still in use in Jerusalem, Yom Kippur was the only day of the year when the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies and invoke the sacred name of Yahweh to offer blood sacrifices for the people of Israel. There were no “do-overs.” If mistakes were made, the sins were not atoned for that year and then carried over until the following year.
From a prophetic viewpoint, after the Tribulation has begun on a future Feast of Trumpets, the people of Israel will have their blinders removed on a future Yom Kippur and Jesus will return on that day. It will be that generation of Jews who will all be saved.
This is just a brief overlay of Yom Kippur. So, if you want to learn more, take the time to watch Mark Biltz’s great video here. You will be blessed for watching it.
Next, we will look at the Feast of Tabernacles.
(Continued in Part 6…if you’re interested, the full series to date can be seen here.)